How to retain specialists who are poached by competitors

How to retain specialists

Companies that need experienced, qualified specialists can choose several paths:

• find professionals in the market among those who are looking for work;

• hire a novice and grow him to the right level.

There is also a third option – to hunt a specialist from competitors or even partners.

In this article, we will not talk about the ethics of this approach to hiring. Let’s talk about the methods that the leaders of the IT outstaffing market use in order not to lose the best developers who are trying to poach competitors or clients.

What is the problem

Strong developers are the main value of an IT company, and it is difficult to find qualified specialists. The demand for developers was high even before the pandemic, and in 2021, with the transfer of many business processes to online, recruiters faced a shortage of IT personnel.

According to experts, supply is unlikely to catch up with demand in the next 5-10 years. The question arises where to look for professionals if they are not enough.

Outstaffing companies often come under attack. Customers can work with a specific specialist for some time, evaluate the results of interaction and invite an employee to their place.

How to prevent poaching specialists

The most important thing to understand is that even the most loyal employees can be lured away. No one can give guarantees that a particular specialist will work at the current place until retirement. But there are several ways to prevent employees from leaving. Understand the underlying reasons why people leave and take countermeasures.

1. Offer a salary not lower than the market average

According to the survey, 48% of employees cite employers’ refusal to raise wages as the main reason for leaving. Accordingly, if a company wants to retain specialists, it will have to ensure that the salary level matches the market.

2. Create conditions for openness and trust

Thoughts about changing jobs do not occur overnight. Usually they are preceded by some problems that the employer may not even be aware of. It is important to create an environment in which the employee has the opportunity to ask any questions, share doubts and receive support.

3. Change tasks, select projects that will give the employee the opportunity to realize their potential and grow

Studies show that specialists can switch to competitors not only because of salaries and relationships in the team. Many are pushed to the transition by fatigue, a thirst for change, or uninteresting tasks at their current job.

To make developers want to stay with you, select tasks that meet the temperament and interests of specialists, help them develop and grow.

A good recruiter offers opportunities to the specialist: the opportunity to develop a career, the opportunity to try something new or develop in what the specialist already knows. In order not to poach an employee, you need to offer these opportunities first:

• Researching engagement. The higher the engagement, the lower the turnover. We give a person to reflect on what drivers motivate him to work with us, and we take care to strengthen this motivation.

• We hold meetings 1:1. It is important to give a specialist the opportunity to say what he lacks: money, development, interesting tasks, professional challenges, comfortable working conditions. A one-on-one interview gives the current employer an opportunity to learn about these needs and close them.

• Conduct Performance Review. Based on its results, the employee will learn about development zones: a good team leader or HR manager will offer ways to improve them within the company. If an employee learns about his development zones from a headhunter following an interview with another company, it is highly likely that he will go there to develop them

4. Agree with partners that you will not poach employees from each other

For effective cooperation, it is important for partners to trust each other. But what kind of trust can we talk about if an outstaffing company expects that its employees can be hunted down?

You can agree in advance with clients and partners that you will not hunt employees from each other, and even prescribe “penalties” if such a situation does happen.

5. Involve employees in the life of the company

Comfortable working conditions are not only a physical workplace that a specialist receives in the office. There are also intangible factors that are often difficult to measure, but which affect the loyalty and comfort of employees: a sense of belonging to a common cause, a sense of security, respect, and involvement in a common process.

When a specialist understands and shares the values ​​of the organization, feels his importance, appreciates his surroundings, the likelihood that he will get up and go to competitors is sharply reduced.

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